Description: Annual herbs.
Leaves linear to terete, channelled below, blunt, bearing compressed leafy shoots in the axils; stipules small, falling early, wider than long.
Inflorescence a loose terminal leafless cyme. Pedicels spreading to reflexed after flowering. Sepals 5, free, ovate with scarious margins. Petals 5, ovate, entire, white, shorter than the sepals. Stamens 5 or 10. Styles 5, free, alternating with the sepals.
Capsule with 5 teeth, longer than the sepals; seeds numerous, black, finely wrinkled, variously winged.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 5 species, Europe & temperate Asia. Australia: 2 species (naturalized), all States except N.T.
Text by A. Doust
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Glandular hairs present on stems, leaves and sepals; stamens 10; seeds with a scarious wing or keel much narrower than the diam. of the seed body||Spergula arvensis|
|Glabrous in all parts; stamens 5; seeds with a scarious wing as wide as the diam. of the seed body||Spergula pentandra|